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katiemcginnis 07-26-2012 08:46 PM

I'd like to start deer hunting: advice
Hello everyone!

I've been wanting to get into deer hunting for a few years now. I've been on a rifle squad and am a generally good target shooter, but hunting animials is completely new to me.

My question is this: I do not and cannot own a gun based on my living situation. I also don't think I'll be able to afford a $500 rifle in the future, regardless. (Which seems to be the price for the better hunting rifles at Cabela's.) Is there any way to become involved in hunting, otherwise, or should I just wait five or so years up the road to pursue this as a hobby? Are there community clubs or trips out there, for people like me?

I'm mostly interested in deer hunting because I figure if I'm going to pay for a liscene, I might as well get some meat out of it; that would actually break even, IMO.

Thanks in advance,


katie mcginnis

Karl.Luhr 07-27-2012 12:47 PM

I would talk to Friends and Co-workers about hunting..
You might be surprized about the number of co-workers you have that are hunters. It might be possible to borrow one of their rifles to use at the range and take hunting. Shooters/Hunters are a crazy group made up of every different type of person. We all share a common love for Shooting/Hunting, and are thankful for being able to enjoy what we love doing.


onehorse 07-28-2012 08:46 AM

You might consider taking a Hunter/Firearms training course for starters. You'll get a lot of valuable information and meet people who might be able to help you. As for your comment about breaking even by getting some meat - I suppose that's possible, but don't count on it. Most of us never dare to cost out how much that deer meat is worth. I would guess dozens of times more per pound than the most expensive cuts of beef.:crybaby:

Lil Woody 07-29-2012 09:59 PM

Get started now by all means! You might find a local hunter that would like to be filmed. It's not easy but it would be a good way to learn a lot about the hunt. But be warned it's addictive:lol:

Scorpion8 07-30-2012 03:51 PM

My advice has several parts. Join your local Gun Club, Rifle and Pistol Club or even 4H Club and hang out as a volunteer, or just hang around and chat with old timers. Show some recurring interest, and someone will show some interest in helping you learn. Ask an experienced hunter if you can tag along just to learn, but make sure you mention that all their secrets and favorite spots will remain a secret and that you won't use them. Take your State's Hunter's Education class to learn responsible and ethical hunting before you head into the woods. Plus read all you can in various hunting magazines (forget the TV shows, they are canned to show kills every time....real hunting ain't that way). Reading will help you decide what caliber rifle you want or need, where to shoot for an ethical, clean-quick humane kill, and then how to butcher or field dress your kill.

And nothing says you can't get out there now without a rifle. Shed hunting will help you pattern the deer and learn where a scrape is and what to look for. Scouting is just as enriching (and more useful) as the actual hunting for that day when you can pull the trigger.

Talk to everyone you can think of. Your State cooperative extension office might know of good areas that deer feed in, or community classes in hunting.

And lastly, learn to be patient. Learn to sit on a log near the edge of a field for hours, silently. If your State requires stands, learn how to prepare one and how to sit in one for hours. Learn to walk thru the woods silently, where you might cover 100 yards in an hour for a stalk hunt.

ALL of these things can and should be done ahead of time. There's more to it than pulling the trigger. Before and after are just as important as the hunt and kill.

Hunting Man 07-30-2012 04:19 PM

If you can't own a firearm now what about a bow, crossbow? Joining an archery club would give you lots of fun and meet up with hunters to get valuable info. This is added to all the rest good posts above.

Karl.Luhr 07-30-2012 07:46 PM

Your Rifle need not cost 500.xx to go Deer Hunting
I am one of the worst offenders saying that you should plan on spending 500.xx on a quality rifle/scope combo. Having admitted my snobbery I will go record that an inexpensive single shot or well used firearm will kill a Deer just as dead. The bullet does the killing and assuming you put it in the correct place the rifle is a non issue. Yes I prefer quality, but I would use whatever I could afford. I would never look down on someone carrying or shooting an inexpensive rifle/scope combo. That person is one of us.


Scorpion8 07-31-2012 10:22 AM


Originally Posted by Karl.Luhr (Post 71136)
I would never look down on someone carrying or shooting an inexpensive rifle/scope combo.

One of my first rifles, and I took my first deer with it, was a milsurp 7x57mm Chilean 1912 Mauser. I still have that rifle. Highly recommend that or a Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 as a possible first gun. I've seen folks in the deer woods with Mosins also. Don't discount the milsurp supply.

Hunting Man 07-31-2012 11:00 AM

I had to borrow my first rifle to hunt PA. Explore all options.

3212 07-31-2012 11:13 AM

Scouting determines most successful hunts and the accumulated knowledge over several seasons brings increased confidence.If you are hunting in an area with many hunters, the deer may travel different routes on the opening day.Several opening days will tell you where the deer are.If you want to avoid the crowds find private land to hunt or avoid opening day.The deer will still be there.

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